In This Issue – Reviews

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If we think of reviews, in an old-fashioned way, as conversations about books, then this Issue marks a return to some of EJIL’s favourite topics. Investment law, the law of treaties and human rights to name three. And so we feature reviews of important new works on business and human rights (Robert McCorquodale on Legal Sources on Business and Human Rights), on the evolution of treaties (Helmut Aust on Treaties in Motion), and on the ways of reforming ISDS (Fernando Dias Simões on Key Duties of Investment Arbitrators). Gail Lythgoe’s review of Alex Jeffrey’s The Edge of Law continues another longstanding EJIL conversation about the proper balance between legal and sociological perspectives on international institutions, in this case the Bosnian War Crimes Chamber. Our remaining reviews address works at another ‘edge of law’ – the twilight zone between law and history: Umut Özsu is impressed by Oil Diplomacy, Christopher Dietrich’s account of post-World War II attempts to revise the rules governing control over the 20th century’s most coveted resource. Kirsten Sellars looks at Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg, Francine Hirsch’s attempt to approach an epochal moment in 20th-century legal history from a non-Western perspective. Six regular reviews, then, and six conversations about significant new research.

The two review essays featured in this issue continue the conversation about international criminal justice: In his essay, Richard Clements combines an in-depth review of three recent works on the ICC’s role in Africa (Clarke, Clark and De Vos) with reflections on the tension between distance and proximity in international criminal law. What is more, by citing Céline Dion in the title of his piece, he goes where no EJIL author has gone before.  Finally, our opening review essay by Itamar Mann is a ‘first’ of another sort, namely the first EJIL review essay devoted to a prison memoir: Behrouz Boochani’s unsettling No Friend but the Mountains, written on an iPhone on Manus Island, Australia’s infamous offshore detention centre. Mann introduces EJIL readers to Behrouz Boochani’s story and reads it ‘as evidence’ that ‘can offer insights on how [international criminal law] should be interpreted’. For an international law journal, this is an unusual conversation about an unusual book. As Review Editor, I hope it will start a trend.

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